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Hamas claims victory, celebration across Palestine

Immediately after the Gaza ceasefire went into effect the evening of Aug. 26, Hamas urged Gazans to take to the streets and "celebrate victory and the fulfillment of the Palestinian people's demands." In a news conference at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that "Israeli settlers who live around Gaza can go back to their homes after the ceasefire agreement went into effect." He announced victory and congratulated the Palestinian people and the Arab nation for the victory which he said the Palestinian resistance achieved. "The Hamas movement won't abandon the Palestinian people after the battle came to an end." Militants fired gunshots into the air celebrating victory, and Palestinians took to the streets across the West Bank. (Ma'an)

Senior Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouq said Israel has agreed to open Gaza crossings to allow the flow of humanitarian aid and construction materials. Speaking to Ma'an News Agency, Abu Marzouq added that three more Gaza crossings will be operated in addition the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings, which are already operating.  Asked about the fishing zone, he said that Gaza fishermen (now confined to 3 nautical miles) would be allowed to reach as far as 6 nautical miles and the zone would be increased gradually until it is 12 nautical miles by the end of 2014. Reconstruction of the war-torn Gaza Strip will be discussed during a conference in Egypt next month, he added. The Palestinian national consensus government will be in charge of implementation.

Israeli, European and US restrictions and opposition to money transfers to Gaza for salaries for employees of the former Hamas-led government in Gaza are to be lifted. The national consensus government is said to be working on proceedings to arrange payment of salaries. Abu Marzouq also said that Israel agreed to stop targeted assassinations and to withdraw from the Gaza security zone. (Ma'an)

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